18 July, 2022

Trading Address vs Registered Address: All Differences and Regulations

Most companies have multiple addresses, which are used for different purposes. To avoid wasted time and aggravation, it’s important to understand which address to use and when. Besides, it’ll make the management of business correspondence easier.

Trading address

The two terms that are confused fairly often are company registered address vs trading address. Let’s look at both from a legal perspective and discuss when you need both. 

What Is a Trading (Business) Address?

Your trading address is the location from which your company conducts its business activities. It’s called “office address for trading” because it’s not the address where you’re registered but where you operate from. 

You can use this address for all non-official correspondence. For example, when you have mail from clients, banks, or utility providers, it will not be mixed up with government mail. You can display this address on your website, business cards, or anywhere else where individuals and other businesses might search for your company information. 

Even if you operate from multiple locations, you can’t have more than one trading address. You must choose a single location, which will be your general business address. Other than that, the rules for a business trading account and address are fairly relaxed. It can even be a residential building (although this is not recommended). 

What Is a Registered Address?

A registered address is pretty self-explanatory - it’s an address for business registration. It’s a legal requirement to ensure every company operating in the UK is registered with Companies House. This will be the address to which government agencies will send you official correspondence. 

Providing Companies House with your registered address is a necessary step during company formation. So, even before your company exists, you must have an address in mind. 

For corporate transparency, this address will be displayed on the public registry. So, your company’s official address and point of contact will be available to everyone. Having a corporate address rather than a residential one is, therefore, a preferable option. 

Any important letters or legal notices will be sent there, so some type of mail handling will be beneficial. You don’t want to miss a letter from the HMRC just because it got mixed up with some junk mail.

Trading Address vs Registered Address: Legal Distinctions

What is the difference between a registered address vs trading address from a legal perspective? Unlike a trading address, a registered office legally has to be included in your letters and invoices. A trading address doesn’t have any legal obligations attached to it - it’s just what you choose to display to your business contacts for non-statutory mail.

Many companies choose to keep these addresses separate. Some even have a guideline not to provide anyone with the company's registered office address unless asked specifically. 

It should be noted that both address types can be changed at any time. You can do it online or by post. Download the “AD01 Change of registered office address” form and send the completed form to the Companies House address. If you change your trading address, you don’t need to notify government agencies. 

Registered vs Trading Address

Registered office 

  • Required by Companies House during company formation
  • Where the company is set up
  • For government mail (mainly letters or notices from HMRC and Companies House)
  • Considered the official company address

Trading address

  • Required by HMRC (VAT registration, self-assessment tax return)
  • Where the activities of the business are performed
  • For general business contacts (banks, clients, lenders, suppliers, etc.)
  • Can be the same as a registered office or an alternative address you work from 

It should be noted that both address types can be changed at any time. You can do it online or by post. Download the “AD01 Change of registered office address” form and send the completed form to the Companies House address. If you change your trading address, you don’t need to notify government agencies. 

Situations Where You’ll Need a Trading Address as Well as a Registered Address

It doesn’t have to be a registered address vs a trading address at all times - most of the time, you need both. As previously mentioned, these are addresses for different types of mail. And to receive official or non-official correspondence, you can’t go without one or the other. 

Let’s look at it from the perspective of sole trader registration - and at which point you will need either address. 

When you set up a sole trader company, you will need to provide your registered address. After the company is up and running, any company letter should show the company number and registered address.

But you might not want the recipient to reply to this address. If so, make sure to display your trading address prominently. The registered address can be as a footer to your company stationery in a small font.

This framework also works for limited companies. If you’re curious about the cheapest way to register a company, check out the article. 

Consider The Hoxton Mix Your Trusted Partner

If you want to secure an address in a prestigious location, do it through The Hoxton Mix. You can register your company at our Shoreditch-based address and also use it as a trading address. Basically, you will get all your needs served in one place. 

What’s more, you can use our company formation services for £10 and get £10 off any virtual office plan. Or, to put it differently, you can rent a virtual office and have your company registered for free. We’ll handle the filing procedure - we’ll just need 10 minutes from your day. 

Check out our company blog for expert business material on a variety of different topics. For example, you can learn how to register a dormant company and why you might need to. Keep your eyes on new articles to have all your questions answered and avoid making careless mistakes. 

Final Thoughts

Let us consolidate what we’ve discussed about the difference between a registered and trading address. The former is needed for Companies House and HMRC at the company formation stage. The latter is needed for clients, banks, agents, suppliers, etc., to send you correspondence.

On a final note, remember that you don’t have to place your private residential address on any public registry. Not only is it not safe, but it can also have a detrimental effect on your company’s credibility. There are convenient and affordable options from address providers. 


Is a trading address the same as a registered address?

The main differences between a business registered address vs a trading address lie in their official purposes. A registered address is required by Companies House during company formation, while a trading address is where business activities are principally carried out.

Do I need a registered business address?

Yes, a registered business address is any company’s legal obligation. Every company registered in the UK must have one. 

Can I use my home as a registered or trading address?

Yes, you’re legally allowed to use your home address. However, there are many drawbacks. Corporate information is publicly disclosed, which may result in unwanted visitors and unsolicited mail arriving at your home. It also may diminish the credibility of your company, especially if you don’t live in a prestigious area. 

In what cases should I have both?

A company needs both a registered address and a trading address to operate. But it can be the same address (i.e., the same physical location). 

Can I change my registered or trading address?

Yes, you can do it at any time and as often as necessary. The only two requirements are that the new address must be in the country that you operate in, and you must notify Companies House of the change. The procedure itself is simple, and it should take about 24 hours for the registry to be updated. 

Is a trading address the same as a business address?

Yes, a trading and business address can be used interchangeably. Basically, it’s an office address from where you primarily conduct business operations. If a client or supplier sends you mail, it will arrive at the trading address.  

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